Fresenius Medical Care provides healthcare solutions across North America for those with chronic kidney disease and related conditions.
Fresenius employs 67,000 people across two buildings in their headquarters near Boston, MA. Their buildings include a combination of workspace types, such as private offices, open areas with low-walled cubicles, common spaces, and collaborative areas. Rich Bettina, Director of North American Real Estate Portfolio oversees the allocation and use of space.
Like many companies, Fresenius expanded its real estate footprint to match its anticipated headcount. The danger with this approach, however, is that the growth in square footage can outpace the growth in the workforce. The result is what Bettina calls “real-estate bloat,” which he suspected was occurring at the Fresenius headquarters. “We have a headquarters location with two buildings,” he explained, “one is 100,000 square feet, the other is 300,000 square feet, and just by visual observation alone it was obvious that the space was being underutilized.”
Bettina recognized that there was a big opportunity for cost savings by consolidating employees into one building, but he needed highly accurate data to make the case. He turned to VergeSense and their Occupancy Intelligence Platform
In just four months, the data captured by VergeSense revealed that the average space usage of their smaller building was only 20%. This is not uncommon for many large companies, but it can persist for years without accurate data to detect and correct it. Armed with this information, Bettina and his team ultimately decided to terminate the lease for one of the buildings early, as the employees would easily be consolidated in another building with ample capacity. With this change, Fresenius is saving more than $6 million in annual cost avoidance.
For Bettina, this shift in approach to occupancy intelligence marks a new era in the ways that Fresenius thinks about workplace design. By applying the occupancy intelligence framework and using accurate and anonymous data to make fact-based decisions, his team was able to get the most out of their real estate investments. “Available capacity isn’t just workstations without names on them. With VergeSense we’re able to see what is actually used and make better choices with our space.”
Implementing occupancy intelligence in their headquarters established a repeatable model that Fresenius can use in other buildings across the organization. Shortly after finding success and downsizing their portfolio, Fresenius has since installed VergeSense sensors in two larger Boston-area buildings, which Bettina suspects will show similar results, saving millions more while boosting employee experience.
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